||[Aug. 31st, 2014|07:17 pm]
We have a date with gillpolack. In order to achieve this, gillpolack set off from Australia and is now in Croatia, while durham_rambler and I set off fro Durham and are now in Ely. If our calculations are correct, our paths will meet tomorrow at Cambridge railway station.
We stopped on the way down for lunch at Woolsthorpe Manor. It wasn't planned, but the sign appeared just as we were about to leave the A1 and see what we could find, so we followed it, and lunched on National Trust tomato and pepper soup. We had time for a rapid tour of the house - it isn't huge, but it is a very comfortable farmhouse - and we walked round the little orchard where the legendary tree is still thriving:
That is, the old tree seems to have gone from the center of the cluster, butthe shoots which grew fro it are still there, where Newton would have seen the apple tree from the indo of his chamber upstairs, and it was still bearing fruit. As we looked at it, and remarked that its apples were the most numerous, sizable and shapely of any tree in the orchard, an apple fell to the ground. "Hmm," said durham_rambler, "I wonder what causes that?"
Saturday evening with valydiarosada and D. was Docto Who (I'm enjoying Peter Capaldi, and this week's episode managed to make me forget how very bored I am with daleks) and a very nice bottle of wine. a Pauillac 2003 given to us by a departing client. We'd brought it with us because we knew this was the household where it would be appreciated; it was smooth and spicy, elegant but sumptuous. If I could afford claret of this quality, I could develop a taste for the stuff.
Today valydiarosada is out being musical, and the rest of us have spent the day at Anglesey Abbey, which is not noticeably an abbey at all, but a Jacobean house renovated in the twentieth century by an owner with an apparently bottomless purse: as an example, one of the first things he did was to redecorate the Victorian drawing room, lining it with seventeenth century oak panelling, and installing a plaster ceiling copied from the Reindeer Inn at Banbury (but with his own arms substituted for the central motif). The house and gardens are full of pretty things: clocks, paintings, textiles, sculptures - though I thought the whole was less than the sum of these. The garden was all vistas, with a statue at the end of each, and I ended up thinking "Oh, another sculpture," rather than seeing how good many of them were. None of them was as pleasing as the carpet of cyclamen under the trees in the Winter Garden.